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Abbas calls for relaunch of Mid-East peace process
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President of the Palestinian National Authorities Mahmoud Abbas called for a prompt resumption of the Middle East peace process during his official visit to Cuba, which ended on Sunday.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas waves goodbye while boarding his plane at Havana's Jose Marti airport September 27, 2009.[Xinhua/Reuters Photo]

"Israel has to come up with an initiative soon. We have lent our hand for peace and that is why we are asking Israel to respond by accepting our call," he told the audience at a Palestinian solidarity event here in this Cuban capital.

"I hope we will welcome (Cuban) President Raul Castro to our nation, ... when we have an independent Palestinian republic with its capital in Jerusalem," he said.

Abbas arrived in Cuba on Saturday for his first official visit to the Caribbean country.

During his stay, he met his Cuban counterpart Castro, and the two countries signed three agreements on the cooperation in higher education, culture and sports.

(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2009)

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